Even if the mc, Matthew Kasten, had announced, “Tonight, Chiclet will lipsynch Nina Hagen’s Naturträne,” we still wouldn’t have had any idea what to expect.
The lights dimmed slowly as the eerily comforting opening chords of a strumming guitar quieted the buzzing crowd. A tight spotlight pinpointed Chiclet’s powdered white nose, then expanded slowly to reveal enormous bug-eye sunglasses, glittering orange lips, and a black-and-blue fright wig. Nina’s guttural German seemed to fly from Chiclet’s mouth as if thrown up by one of Satan’s angels.
Above the groaning guitar and steady drums, Chiclet’s spotlight widened. She wore a cable-knit sweater striped in faded earth tones and a crumpled black skirt made from yards of pleather. Her right arm levitated slowly into a flat salute. On her wrist, a toy bug, covered in blue and black crystals, flapped its shining wings. The stage was disarmingly bare.
At the climax of the number (“Ooooooh, oooooh, oooooh, oooooh, oooooh, ooooooh, ECH! ECH!! AHA-HA! ECH!!!”) Chiclet’s body began to stretch upward, slowly, imperceptibly at first, then higher and higher until the top of her wig pressed against the crude lights jutting from the ceiling. “Aaaaaah oooh aaaaahhhh . . .” Nina’s voice wailed. Chiclet’s skirt fluttered like a parachute. She spun like a dervish. Hoots and hollers from the audience drowned out Nina’s voice as she ended her song with the cluck of a chicken. Blackout. Whistles and screams. #ghostsofstvincents #tomeubanks #boybar [📼: #ninahagen performs #naturträne, 1978] #readitandtweet